BUSCH: Elliott Sadler Charlotte Preview

Charlotte Motor Speedway holds many memories for Elliott Sadler. It is where Sadler landed his first full-time ride in the Busch Series when Diamond Ridge Motorsports named him the driver of their NASCAR Busch Series entry. It is also the ...

Charlotte Motor Speedway holds many memories for Elliott Sadler. It is where Sadler landed his first full-time ride in the Busch Series when Diamond Ridge Motorsports named him the driver of their NASCAR

Busch Series entry. It is also the sight of his first NASCAR Winston Cup start. Charlotte is very similar to Texas Motor Speedway where earlier this year, Sadler started from the pole position and finished second. Although Sadler enjoys racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the driver of the Phillips 66/Trop Artic Chevrolet Monte Carlo hasn't experienced the best of luck at the 1.5-mile oval. In his last appearance at NASCAR's crown jewel, Sadler was caught up in an accident on lap six which relegated the Phillips 66 Performance Racing Team to a 41st-place finish. The All Pro Bumper-to-Bumper will be Sadler's last start at Charlotte Motor Speedway as a NASCAR Busch Series regular, as he prepares to make the jump to Winston Cup racing in 1999. He's hoping that his last start will produce his best finish.

"I haven't competed in a lot of races at Charlotte but I've logged a lot of seat time there in both Busch and Winston Cup cars," Sadler said. "I'm more comfortable racing there now than I was a year ago, but we just haven't had the best of luck. I think we made all of six laps there in the spring, so we really didn't know what kind of a race car we had. Hopefully, with a little luck, we'll run 200 laps this time and be around at the end to challenge for a win."

The car Sadler will pilot at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the same car he raced earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway, where he won the pole and finished second. Instead of the familiar black, however, the No. 66 Phillips 66/Trop Artic will sport the gold paint scheme that debuted at Richmond International Raceway. Charlotte will be the second race for the gold Phillips 66 Chevrolet. Sadler will race gold cars at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the season finale in Homestead, Fla.

"We never really got a chance to see how this car was going to do in the spring race at Charlotte," Sadler said. "It was awesome in Texas and was real good in practice at Charlotte in the spring. We're real confident that this car is capable of at least repeating its second-place performance at Texas."

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY RESULTS Date Start Finish Winnings 05/24/97 8 21 $5,842 10/04/97 18 14 $12,098 05/23/98 9 41 $12,125

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Elliott Sadler